The original version of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic featured a gladiator planet that would have seen the player work their way through the ranks of the arena.
“We did cut an entire planet that we’d actually developed and built part of,” says KOTOR lead designer James Ohlen in the new book, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. “Having to cut his world was particularly painful. But it was simply a time thing. It was a gladiatorial world where the player was going through sort of a Planet Hulk–style plot. The player would get stuck fighting their way up through the ranks until they won the tournament and escaped off-world. But that was too much to do in the time we had, so it got cut.”
Years ago (back in 2003, actually) BioWare first talked about this cut planet via a blog post that is only available in archived form. It seems that the planet was going to be called Sleheyron and would have been run by various Hutt gangsters. Actually, it seems that the plan was to allow the player to play these rival gang leaders against each other for their benefit. Interestingly, that planet has been referenced in other Star Wars material since KOTOR‘s release.
That same blog post suggests that it wouldn’t be worth the effort to restore the content based to the game based on what it offerred, but some fans disagree. Various modders have tried over the years to recreate the cut planet based on what information about it has been made publically available. Those results have been mixed, but they do show that this planet had the potential to be an incredibly fun (if not strictly necessary) diversion.
Based on other information revealed in that same book, it seems that we’re lucky only one planet was cut from KOTOR. The game seemingly suferred from a variety of technical setbacks and required BioWare’s developers and designers to work some late nights in order to fix the various bugs that popped up during development.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that BioWare has had to cut content from one of their games. They recently revealed that Anthem had a much different (and arguably more interesting) original premise. This is also not the most notable content cut made in a KOTOR game. That honor belongs to the various pieces of content cut from KOTOR 2.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.